Hey, have you heard about that guy running 300 miles across Colorado? “That guy” is David Clark of The Superman Project, who right this minute is running somewhere between the Wyoming and New Mexico borders to raise awareness for addiction recovery.
David once relied on alcohol, prescription pain killers and fast food to get through the day. Now, he relies on running and its power to change not just a body, but a life. And his mission is to help others understand that within them is the will to change, too.
We caught up with David to find out how he is staying strong in the course of his super human effort.
You’re in the middle of your 300-mile run across Colorado. How’s it going?
We are about 230 miles of the way across the state [as of Wednesday ,May 16) and feeling great! I hesitate to make any predictions because we still have many miles to go, but overall I feel great and I am ready to run tomorrow.
What kind of support are you seeing along the way?
The support and love we have received from everyone is overwhelming. We have volunteers everyday and support along the way. We also have many sharing their thoughts and prayers through Facebook and following our progress on Twitter @wearesuperman.
The feedback has been very empowering. People of all backgrounds are chiming in on the power of the message: "You don't have to lay down and die. You can change your life today."
Who is running with you?
My fiancée Emily Booth has run over half the miles with me, as well as a couple of friends and supporters of the cause. We are all Superman...
What are your fueling and hydrating tips?
Stay on top of fueling. You can come back from a bad bonk, but it is much easier to stay on top of it while feeling good. I exclusively use Herbalife 24 which is on the course at Leadville. I have PRed in every race since switching.
Are you meeting your goal of running 35 to 50 miles per day?
We are. The terrain at altitude (averaging 8,000-feet or higher) has proven challenging. The entire mileage is going to end up at about 340 miles when it's all said and done.
Have you done anything like this before?
I have done the Leadville Trail 100 twice. (In 2010 I ran it as my first hundred in 28:21. Then in 2011 I came back for the big buckle!! 23:50!) I have run on a treadmill for 24 hours for charity. But nothing comes close to this in terms of the required mental toughness, emotional management and staying healthy and strong.
How does this compare to the LT100 (in terms of what it does to your body)?
The fatigue in the LT100 is more intense and there is more pain involved for sure. In this run, the pain seems to come at you from a different source each day. The game is to "solve" each issue and get in my miles. I have had days with a painful stressed foot, a day with numbness and piriformis issues, a couple days with a tight knee, etc. You have to trust that your body can push through. Your brain tells you that you should quit, but the body is stronger than we think.
What other run events are you planning to do this year?
Most likely the Leadville Trail Marathon, the Silver Rush 50, and I will be pacing my fiancée at the LT100.
You’re using the physical act of running to enact not just physical change but emotional change, as well. What’s your advice for someone who is finding it hard to change?
The way we do recovery or physical change is the way we do anything big: we charge forward with a determination that will not fade. We can't own the weight of running an entire state or even losing 320 pounds, because it's crushing. But we can move forward one mile, one pound, one day, one stage at a time. Once we commit 100 percent, then and only then can our minds find a way.